One of the more unpleasant symptoms of dementia that many elderly people face is psychosis. Psychosis will present differently from person to person, but has some common characteristics in that is a loss of connection with reality. However it presents, it is hard for the person experiencing it.
A team from the University of Exeter recently looked at how medication might help alleviate psychosis symptoms. They found that pimavanserin had a positive impact on those that suffered psychosis with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. They actually were able to halt the clinical study a little bit early because of the positive results that were discovered. There was no increase in mortality. The only observed side effects were headache, constipation, and urinary tract infection.
Research shows that about half of the people that live with Alzheimer’s disease–the most common type of dementia–will experience an episode of psychosis at some point. This may be short lived, or it may go on for much longer. Hopefully, with a better understanding of medication and safer, more effective treatments in the works, these terrifying symptoms can be kept under control and help the people that are already struggling find some peace and happiness. There’s still a long road ahead before this treatment is approved, but it’s a big step forward.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. While this step forward in helping patients with this type of dementia is helpful for improving their quality of life, it does not fully restore the individual back to health. Because it is a neurodegenerative disease, the individual with Alzheimer’s will eventually see their symptoms worsen until they pass away. Unfortunately, there is still a lot more research that’s needed before we can help individuals with Alzheimer’s live life the way that they did prior to developing this disease. Hopefully, this step forward can act as a jumping off point for even more advances down the road.
The research team published their findings in The New England Journal of Medicine.
When someone that you love is suffering from dementia it can be hard on the whole family. The person that you care about begins to lose their memory and might be beginning to have trouble getting through daily tasks that used to come so naturally to them. They might be placed in a dangerous situation because of their dementia. It’s not uncommon to see someone wander away from their home at night, confused, or even become lost to the point where emergency crews are needed.
Finding care that is appropriate for a loved one at this point can be difficult, especially because they are not likely to want or understand the need for that care. That’s where a service like ours can be helpful. If you’d like to learn more about how in-home care can help a loved one with dementia, I encourage you to give us a call. We can talk more details regarding memory care and what might be the best way to help your older loved one–and the rest of your family–stay safe and well cared for during this time.